Death toll reaches 400 in Pakistan floods
The death toll in Pakistan's floods rose to 397 on Friday after three days of flooding and heavy rains, with over 100 injured, officials and media reports said.
Rescue workers searched for dozens of missing people as flash floods triggered by monsoon rains washed away bridges, inundated villages, caused landslides and left hundreds of thousands stranded, DPA reported.
Most affected was the north-western province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which saw its worst flooding since 1929.
Mujahid Khan, a spokesman of Edhi Foundation, which runs an ambulance service, said that at least 313 people were killed in various parts of the province, where an emergency has been declared.
Most of the fatalities were in the mountainous Malakand region where the heavy rain triggered landslides and blocked the main roads to the rest of the country.
"At least 140 were killed only in Shangla district while 135 people died in Swat district," said Khan. "Seventeen more died when lightning struck in Dir area of Malakand."
Forty-nine people were buried when a hill collapsed and covered a road in Shangla district's Basham area, Samaa television reported.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the provincial information minister, said that according to initial estimates some 400,000 people were left homeless in the province.
In the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir, the rain and floods killed at least 22 people, said the region's chief administrator, Sardar Attique Khan.
Thirteen people died in the eastern province of Punjab, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority said Thursday.
The death toll was feared to rise as communication services in many areas were disconnected and information about the disaster was slow to arrive.
Last week dozens of people were killed in floods in the impoverished south-western province of Baluchistan. The UN said Thursday that 150,000 people had been affected.
Pakistan, like most South Asian countries, experiences an annual monsoon, which brings heavy rains to the whole subcontinent for much of July.
The Meteorological Department has predicted 10 per cent more rain this year than during a normal monsoon season.